I missed this item as part of my post on Obama's goals in the debt ceiling talks. But multiple sources from both parties are saying that Obama floated the idea of raising the eligibility age of Medicare from 65 to 67 as a means to cut spending.
I think the idea that we have to cut spending right now is kind of dumb. Though I'm certainly not opposed to cutting unnecessary spending, like big chunks of defense spending for instance. But the idea of cutting extremely important spending, like that which goes to pay for health care for seniors, is ridiculous. More so, its completely fucking ridiculous for a Democratic president to be the one floating the idea.
Raising the eligibility age for Medicare basically completely fucks the very people who depend on it, mainly the poor and even the middle class. Health insurance is expensive enough for a healthy young person. It only gets more expensive as you get older. Plus old people can't work as much when they reach their mid 60s, thus they don't have as much money as they did when they were younger. So they have less assets available to spend on health insurance. Medicare is so important because it provides fairly cheap (especially compared to private plans) health care to these people.
Not only would you be forcing seniors to work longer and spend more of their depreciating assets on expensive private health insurance by extending the Medicare age, you would also be screwing poorer people because their life expectancy is lower than middle class and rich people's. This is the same reason many liberals don't want to raise the social security age. Poor people would be getting less benefits despite the fact that they are the ones that need it the most. Not to mention that all the while the rich get their tax cuts and the benefits of entitlement programs.
I hope this idea has only been "floated" and not given more than half a second of serious consideration. If Obama and Democrats in Congress actually passed this instead of coming up with some of the numerous other options available that would either cut spending, increase revenue, or do both at the same time, I would be extremely pissed off and insist on a primary challenge for Obama in 2012. Even if nothing comes of this idea its still ridiculous it ever came from a Democrat.